On May 9, billionaire Elon Musk said on Twitter that the head of Roscosmos (Russian Space Agency), Dmitry Rogozin, threatened him with consequences for providing ground-based subscriber equipment of the Starlink satellite company to the militants of the Nazi Azov Battalion and the Marines of the Armed Forces of Ukraine using military helicopters in Mariupol.
The word “Nazi” doesn’t mean what he seems to think it does pic.twitter.com/pk9SQhBOsG— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2022
Musk shared a screenshot of a Telegram post by Rogozin in Russian that translated to, “From the testimony of the captured chief of staff of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel Dmitry Kormyankov, it follows that the ground-based subscriber equipment of the Starlink satellite company Elon Musk was delivered to the militants of the Nazi Azov Battalion and the Marines of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to Mariupol by military helicopters.”
It further read, “According to our information, the delivery and transfer to the Armed Forces of Ukraine of PO boxes for receiving and transmitting the Internet from Starlink were carried out by the Pentagon.”
Threatening Musk for the consequences, the post read, “Elon Musk is thus involved in the supply of fascist forces in Ukraine with military communications. And for this, you will have to answer in an adult way, Elon, no matter how you turn on the fool.”
Musk said the post was sent to the Russian media. He further added that the word ‘Nazi’ used for Azov Battalion is not what Rogozin thought it meant.
In a follow-up tweet, Musk said, “If I die under mysterious circumstances, it’s been nice knowing ya.”
If I die under mysterious circumstances, it’s been nice knowin ya— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2022
Rogozin has targeted Musk multiple times in part
Rogozin, on his Telegram channel, has targeted Elon Musk multiple times. When the social media platform Twitter had yet to announce the takeover by Elon Musk, he said it was funny to read about the “fight” between the White House and Elon Musk. He said, “The situation is presented as if the South African multibillionaire is fighting for freedom of speech on this social network, and the American Democrats, who have settled in power, are resisting this.”
He further added that the fight was not for the freedom of speech but for the ownership of an influential social media network. “This is a struggle for power between formal power and the power of moneybags,” he said.
Starlink support for Ukraine
On March 19, it was reported that Starlink‘s satellite internet service was keeping Ukraine’s internet alive amidst Russia’s attempts to cut it from the cyber world. Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation, Mykhailo Fedorov, had directedly approached Musk for support on Twitter. Within a few hours, Musk said the service was active in Ukraine, and more terminals were en route.
Days after the service got active, on March 27, DW reported that Ukraine was allegedly using Starlink services to execute drone attacks on Russian tanks and positions. Rogozin had said, “This is the West that we should never trust. When Russia implements its highest national interests on the territory of Ukraine, Elon Musk appears with his Starlink, which was previously declared as purely civilian.”
On April 22, it was reported that Dave Tremper, the Director of electronic warfare for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, was impressed by the way Starlink resisted the Russian attempts of hacking and jamming. He had said, “The way that Starlink was able to upgrade when a threat showed up, we need to be able to have that ability. We have to be able to change our electromagnetic posture, to be able to change very dynamically what we’re trying to do without losing capability along the way.”